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PG&E issues warning about metallic balloons and power lines

If the metallic balloons come into contact with overhead power lines they can disrupt electric service and cause property damage or serious injury.
Balloon Safety
Posted at 3:20 AM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 07:28:08-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A warning from Pacific Gas and Electric regarding Valentine's Day. If your Valentine plans involve metallic balloons PG&E reminds you to be careful.

If the metallic balloons come into contact with overhead power lines they can disrupt electric service and cause property damage or serious injury.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of balloons floating into our power lines and causing outages, and we suspect that there could be a correlation to the pandemic and the advent of creative at-home celebrations. Metallic balloons are an easy way to make at-home celebrations more festive, but nothing puts a damper on a romantic evening faster than a widespread power outage you, your friends or your neighbors. Keep your holiday safe by ensuring metallic balloons are secured with a weight,” said Ken Wells, Vice President, Electric Distribution, PG&E.

Safety Tips:

  • Look Up and Live!" Use caution and avoid celebrating with metallic balloons near overhead electric lines.
  • Make sure helium-filled metallic balloons are securely tied to a weight that is heavy enough to prevent them from floating away. Never remove the weight.
  • When possible, keep metallic balloons indoors. Never permit metallic balloons to be released outside, for everyone's safety.
  • Do not bundle metallic balloons together.
  • Never attempt to retrieve any type of balloon, kite, drone or toy that becomes caught in a power line. Leave it alone, and immediately call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report the problem.
  • Never go near a power line that has fallen to the ground or is dangling in the air. Always assume downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Stay far away, keep others away and immediately call 911 to alert the police and fire departments. Other tips can be found at pge.com/beprepared [pge.com]